Environmental activist Ben Winch has successfully had numerous bail conditions removed, allowing him to return to Camp Binbee, an environmental campaigning hub near Bowen, Queensland.
Winch recently requested to have his bail conditions amended in the Bowen Magistrates Court, which was denied. It was then taken to the Supreme Court and won.
In October 2020, Winch took part in direct action by attaching himself with a chain to a cattle grid near Adani’s Bravus coal mine, where he has since been on bail after being arrested.
These onerous conditions restricted Winch from being able to visit one private property in particular, known as Camp Binbee, a well-known environmental campaigning hub. Another condition disallowed him from going within 100 metres of any QR Railway or rail infrastructure. Both of these conditions were completely removed.
Another condition was amended which originally restricted Winch from going within 20km of the Adani Carmichael Mine Complex and is now only a 1km radius whilst he is on bail.
The removal of the “Camp Binbee” condition was based on it being a direct infringement on Winch’s civil liberties, and there being no real legal basis to preclude him from going to the property.
The removal of the “QR Railway” condition was based on it infringing on Winch’s liberty to catch public transport, specifically, trains.
In response to this win, Winch states, “These bail conditions that have been given to activists in this region for years are completely unfair, and I thought it was time to change them.”
Winch’s win comes after dozens of activists have incurred the same conditions that have now been considered an infringement of civil liberties in Ben’s case.